Editor’s Note: News Channel 11 offered to interview Republican candidates for the Tennessee House Fourth District to provide a level playing field for all who wanted to participate. Challenger Robert Acuff sat down with Digital Reporter Jeff Keeling and answered 10 questions that were not provided in advance. Incumbent John Holsclaw did not make himself available. The attached video offers our viewers a chance to learn more about Acuff. The questions we asked are listed below.
- Occupation: Professor, Quillen College of Medicine
- Home: Elizabethton
- Political office previously held: Carter County Commissioner (current)
In light of the budgetary shortfalls caused by COVID-19, what are the most effective legislative approaches to expediting economic recovery in the district you’re hoping to represent?
What as an incumbent would you point to as a successful piece of legislation that you got passed and that helps constituents in your district?
What is the most important legislative agenda you can pursue to guarantee all children in your full access to the best possible education?
Should people wear masks in public places right now?
Do you support any extensions of unemployment benefits and/or increases in Tennessee’s weekly unemployment benefit during the economic crisis associated with the pandemic?
The governor announced he is supporting a law enforcement reform partnership and task force. Do you believe a closer look at Tennessee’s law enforcement agencies is warranted?
Do you believe systemic racism exists in America, what is your opinion about the protests and counterprotests that have occurred around the area, and is there anything a state legislator can do as a leader to improve these situations?
Do you support a regional economic development effort that could involve merging economic development organizations and Chambers of Commerce in the Tri-Cities, and if so what role should a state legislator take?
Was passing a resolution criticizing the news media and dismissing its coverage of the pandemic a constructive use of time during the special session on the budget?
This is moment for you to speak to voters. What makes you the best person to represent them?